The Global Resource For Connecting Buyers and Sellers

Barrick, Antofagasta to spend $95m exploring for copper in Chile

Canada’s Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX)(NYSE: GOLD) and Chilean miner Antofagasta (LON: ANTO) have partnered up to explore together for copper and other metals in the Alto del Carmen area of the country’s northern Atacama region.

Through the newly formed Minera El Encierro, the companies will invest about $95 million to enable 60 drilling platforms in a property comprising 35 concessions that cover an area of 9,400 hectares.

Drilling will be carried out over five years and each campaign will have an estimated duration of 10 months, El Encierro said in its environmental impact application to the Chilean regulator.

Data from Antofagasta shows the prospective area is a classic copper-gold-molybdenum type porphyry, with the superposition of an intermediate sulfidation epithermal system. The project represents one of the few occurrences of high-grade porphyry type mineralization in the El Indio-Pascua belt.

Only 15% of the mining property has been drilled to date and there is a target with high exploration potential. Antofagasta is the majority shareholder and operator.

Barrick Gold has said it is looking to its growth portfolio to double its copper production by 2031 to 1 billion pounds  of the coveted metal

The company has up its game in Pakistan, where its $7 billion Reko Diq mine is expected to reach production in 2028 at an initial rate of 550 million pounds of copper and 300,000 gold ounces per year.

It has committed $2 billion to the development of the Lumwana super pit expansion in Zambia, expected to reach an annual output of 530 million pounds in 2028.

Barrick is also said to be in talks with fellow Canadian miner First Quantum (TSX: FM) for a potential takeover. The move follows the sudden closure of its flagship mine in Panama, which has cost First Quantum more than half its market value.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More